Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children poster.jpg
Japanese film poster
Directed by Tetsuya Nomura
Produced by Yoshinori Kitase
Shinji Hashimoto
Written by Kazushige Nojima
Starring Takahiro Sakurai
Ayumi Ito
Kenichi Suzumura
Showtaro Morikubo
Maaya Sakamoto
Toshiyuki Morikawa
Shōgo Suzuki
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Cinematography Yasuharu Yoshizawa
Edited by Keiichi Kojima
Distributed by Square Enix(Japan)
Sony Pictures (International)
Release dates
  • September 14, 2005 (2005-09-14)
Running time 101 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーVII アドベントチルドレン Hepburn: Fainaru Fantajī Sebun Adobento Chirudoren?) is a 2005 Japanese computer-animated science fantasy film directed by Tetsuya Nomura, written by Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Yoshinori Kitase and Shinji Hashimoto. Developed by Visual Works and Square Enix, Advent Children is part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series, which is based in the world and continuity of the highly successful 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released on DVD in Japan on September 14, 2005, and a year later in North America and Europe.

The film stars Takahiro Sakurai, Ayumi Ito, Kenichi Suzumura, Showtaro Morikubo, Maaya Sakamoto, Toshiyuki Morikawa and Shōgo Suzuki. Advent Children takes place two years after the events of the original game and focuses on the appearance of a trio that kidnaps children infected with an unknown disease. Former Final Fantasy VII hero Cloud Strife goes to rescue the children while suffering from the same disease.

The film received mixed to positive reviews, with critics praising its animation and CGI work, but criticizing how non-Final Fantasy VII gamers would not understand the plot. It received the "Maria Award" at the Sitges Film Festival in 2005 and the "Best Anime Feature" at the 2007 American Anime Awards. As of May 2009, the DVD and UMD releases had sold over 4.1 million copies worldwide.



Advent Children takes place two years following the events of the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII, during which the antagonist Sephiroth attempted to absorb the Lifestream (the lifeblood and soul of the planet) and be reborn as a god.[1] He was defeated by Cloud Strife and his companion but his final spell, Meteor destroyed the city of Midgar.

The survivors of Midgar founded the new city of Edge where Cloud and his childhood friend Tifa Lockhart now run a courier service and are the caretakers of Denzel and Marlene, both of whom are orphans. Cloud is still haunted by his role in the death of Aerith Gainsborough, who was killed on his watch by Sephiroth. In addition, both he and Denzel are infected with a mysterious new ailment known as "Geostigma", which has no known cure. Recently, Cloud has moved out of the house and isolated himself from his friends.


Cloud is contacted through Tifa and summoned to a meeting with the Shinra Company's former president Rufus Shinra, who was presumed killed in Final Fantasy VII.[2] Rufus asks for Cloud's help to stop Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo. The trio are physical manifestations of Sephiroth's surviving spirit, and are seeking to resurrect him using the remains of the extraterrestrial villain Jenova.[3] Cloud refuses to help and leaves.

Meanwhile, Kadaj and his colleagues are recruiting children infected with Geostigma. Denzel falls in with the group, attracted by their promises of a cure for the disease. Loz follows Tifa and Marlene to Aerith's church, where they had gone looking for Cloud, and attacks them. Tifa is knocked unconscious in the fight and Loz abducts Marlene for Kadaj. All the kidnapped children are taken to the ruins of the mystical Forgotten City, where Kadaj embraces them as brethren and announces his intention for them all to be reunited with Jenova. When Cloud arrives to rescue them, he is overpowered by Kadaj's gang, but is rescued by his old comrade Vincent Valentine. Demoralized by his failure, Cloud asks if sin can ever be truly forgiven, to which Vincent nonchalantly replies that he has never tried to forgive. Cloud decides to keep fighting and returns to the city, where Kadaj has summoned Bahamut SIN[4] and other monsters to terrorize the population. With the help of his companions from Final Fantasy VII, Cloud engages and defeats the monsters.

Kadaj confronts Rufus Shinra, who reveals he possesses the box containing Jenova's remains. He attempts to destroy it, but Kadaj manages to save it and flees the city with his companions. Yazoo and Loz are apparently destroyed along the way by an explosive planted by Shinra's agents. Cloud chases Kadaj down and engages him in battle, ultimately subduing him. Outmatched, Kadaj opens Jenova's box and fuses with its contents, transforming into Sephiroth who then tells Cloud that he will be able to use the life essences of Geostigma sufferers to achieve complete domination over the planet.[5] He and Cloud then fight, and throughout the whole encounter Sephiroth appears to have the upper hand, flinging Cloud repeatedly into walls and finally impaling him through the shoulder. He asks Cloud to tell him what he most cherishes, so that he can have the pleasure of taking it away. To this, Cloud replies that he cherishes everything, then pulls out Sephiroth's sword and deals him a hail of devastating blows. Sephiroth's spirit departs, leaving behind the mortally wounded Kadaj. As he lies dying in Cloud's arms, a healing rain starts falling across the land, curing the people of their Geostigma. However, Yazoo and Loz confront Cloud. Cloud charges at the two, who sets off a massive explosion engulfing the three.

Cloud later has a vision of his deceased friends Aerith and Zack Fair, who say that his time to join them has not yet come. He then awakens in the church, healed of his injuries and surrounded by his friends. Behind them, he sees Aerith and Zack leaving the church and hears Aerith's voice say, "You see, everything's all right." He agrees: "I know. I'm not alone... not anymore."


  • Takahiro Sakurai/Steve Burton as Cloud Strife. The former hero of Final Fantasy VII who has been infected with the new disease. Sakurai and Burton had already performed the role in the video game Kingdom Hearts.[4] Nomura wanted Cloud and Vincent to have noticeably different voices because the characters were otherwise quite similar.
  • Shōgo Suzuki/Steve Blum as Vincent Valentine. Since Vincent was older and more mature than Cloud, his role was given to Suzuki, who has a very low voice.[7]:49
  • Shotaro Morikubo/Steve Staley as Kadaj. Morikubo had difficulties voicing him because of the character's unstable personality and needed time to adjust to the role.[7]:26–31
  • Toshiyuki Morikawa/George Newbern as Sephiroth.[9] Morikawa was instructed to pronounce Sephiroth's lines in such a way that his words would convey his feelings of superiority. In tandem with this, the voice director and Morikawa agreed to make Sephiroth's voice sound always calm, as if he never fears the slightest possibility of defeat.[7]:22


Advent Children began as a short film by Visual Works, a company used by Square to develop CGI scenes for their video games, based on Final Fantasy VII. Kazushige Nojima, who had written the script for the game, was brought on to write a 20-minute script, and he decided to write "a story about Cloud and Tifa and the kids".[10] The film was developed as a part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a set of different media content intended to expand upon the world of Final Fantasy VII.[11] Square's research and development department worked with Visual Works on the piece, and VII '​s director Tetsuya Nomura joined the crew after VII '​s producer Yoshinori Kitase called him. Early in pre-production, the team thought about making Advent Children into a game, but Nomura decided against it, partially because Visual Works had no experience with making a full game. The creators had no prior experience working on films, so they fell back on their knowledge of in-game movies.[12]

The film was planned to focus on the characters of Cloud and Tifa in a similar way to how other titles from Compilation of Final Fantasy VII centered on certain characters; for example, Before Crisis focuses on the Turks, Crisis Core on Zack Fair, and Dirge of Cerberus on Vincent.[11] Nomura says the film was, in its first manifestation, only going to be 20 minutes long. The original story featured someone requesting a message to be sent to Cloud; the message is then relayed to Cloud through several children, and, when the message finally reaches Cloud, it is revealed who the messenger is. Nomura very much liked the original script, and it became the foundation of the final version. He decided to make the project longer and more grand in scope when early word of the film generated great interest amongst Final Fantasy VII fans, the majority of whom wanted something feature length. The film's length was expanded to 100 minutes.[13]

Takeshi Nozue and Nomura, who had first worked together on the video game Kingdom Hearts, split the role of directing, as Nomura felt this would add depth to the film. In designing the battle scenes they first discussed the setting and layout, and then went to the staff with their ideas, deciding which were the best and developing them further. The battle between Cloud's group and Bahamut was the most difficult to design due to the size of the area and the number of objects the staff had to add to the scene to keep it realistic. The alternating positions of the characters, including Bahamut itself, took the staff a long time to complete in order to give the scene a sense of flow.[14] Nomura stated that the team decided not to worry about making the fight sequences realistic, as they felt this would restrict their ability to give the film a "cool look". Therefore, they worked by creating their "own rules". Motion capture was used for many of the film's battle scenes; maneuvers that were not physically possible for live actors to perform were constructed digitally.[15]

While designing the characters, the staff discovered that it was impossible to directly translate the Final Fantasy VII designs into the film, and thus some identifying characteristics had to be discarded.[16] Cloud's redesign was a combination of eight different designs, from his super deformed appearance in the game to his more realistic appearance in the film. The difficulties in making Sephiroth led the staff to reduce his appearances in the film, as it took them two years to develop and refine his look.[14] Nozue also had difficulty developing a framework for Tifa's body that was "balanced, yet showed off her feminine qualities."[7]:24 In April 2003, it was decided that Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo would be manifestations of Sephiroth's spirit—his cruelty, strength, and allure respectively.[7]:26–31 In contrast to Sephiroth, the trio was meant to be younger than Cloud, so as to focus on the "next generation" theme.[15] By October 2003, Nomura said that the film was 10% complete, stating that while the script was written, not all the characters were designed.[16]

Nomura felt that Advent Children differed from Hollywood films where the meaning of most scenes tends to be explained. With Advent Children, however, the staff wanted viewers to be able to interpret scenes themselves, allowing them to come to different conclusions.[14] Nojima described the theme of the film as "survival".[16] Other themes with which Nomura and Nojima were concerned include Cloud's feelings of guilt and regret for not being able to save his friends Zack and Aerith. These feelings are symbolized by a grey wolf that appears whenever Cloud thinks about them. The wolf disappears at the end of the film as Cloud comes to terms with his feelings.[7]:86 The word "children" was used in the title to refer to the film's children, as they represent the "next generation".[15]


The music of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Keiji Kawamori, Kenichiro Fukui, and Tsuyoshi Sekito, and arranged by Fukui, Sekito, Kawamori, Shirō Hamaguchi, and Kazuhiko Toyama. Upon hearing each track, Nomura would make some changes, and have the composers re-record the piece.[7]:88–90 The end theme, "Calling", was written and performed by former Boøwy vocalist Kyosuke Himuro. The soundtrack includes both pieces original to the film and arrangements of works from Final Fantasy VII, originally composed by Uematsu. Some of the arrangements, including "Advent: One-Winged Angel", are performed by The Black Mages, a rock band formed by Uematsu, Fukui, and Sekito.[17] Both the pieces original to the film and the film arrangements cover a variety of musical styles, including orchestral, choral, classical piano, and rock music; Variety noted that the styles vary between "sparse piano noodlings, pop metal thrashings and cloying power ballads".[18] The 2005 soundtrack album Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Original Soundtrack collects 26 tracks of music from the film on two discs. It was published by Square Enix on September 28, 2005. In addition to the regular release, a limited edition was produced containing alternative cover art and a booklet of credits and lyrics.[17] The soundtrack album reached position #15 on the Japanese Oricon music charts, and stayed on the charts for 10 weeks.[19]

A mini-album entitled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete Mini Album was released on April 10, 2009, to coincide with the release of the Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete version of the film.[20] This version of the film included a new ending theme, "Safe and Sound", by Kyosuke Himuro and My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way.[21] "Water" was replaced with a new song, "Anxious Heart".[20] Tracks on the album included new versions of "The Chase of Highway", "Those Who Fight Further", "Sign", "Advent: One-Winged Angel", and "On the Way to a Smile".[22] A larger album, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete: Reunion Tracks, was released with 21 tracks on September 16, 2009. This album contains the tracks from the mini-album, as well as several pieces that were lengthened for the Complete film version but not rearranged.[23] Reunion Tracks appeared on the Oricon charts for a single week at position #108.[24]

Promotion and release[edit]

Advent Children was the first title announced in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series, having been unveiled at the 2003 Tokyo Game Show.[7]:74[25] Its first trailer was featured in an updated version of the video game Final Fantasy X-2.[26] However, the trailer used a motion capture that was altered in the final film.[16] Originally scheduled for a September 13, 2005 release in North America and a September 14, 2005 release in Japan,[27][28] Square Enix changed the US release date to a tentative November 2005 date, a move many felt was an attempt on the part of the company to capitalise on the lucrative holiday market,[29][30] although the website The Digital Bits stated that the delays were due to the extra time required to complete the bonus supplements on the special edition DVD. The North American release date was again changed in early November, this time to January 2006. When fans noted that the 2005 E3 trailer had confirmed the simultaneous September releases, Square Enix stated that the trailer was not the real E3 trailer and was possibly a fake.[31]

An IGN article on February 13, 2006, revealed that April 25, 2006 was the new official North American release date.[32] Later the same day, an article on confirmed this date and the entire English voice cast.[8] Square Enix then confirmed the information on their US website.[33]

Prior to the film's release in Japan, Panasonic produced a cell phone identical to the one Cloud uses in the film; the phone contained several features related to Advent Children such as wallpapers and ringtones.[26] On the same date the film was released, Shueisha published a 118-page guidebook titled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Prologue Book.[34] In 2006, SoftBank Creative published a guidebook entitled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Reunion Files, which contains interviews with the film's staff and information regarding development of the film.[35]

A limited edition of the film entitled Final Fantasy VII Advent Pieces was released in Japan at the same time as Advent Children; only 77,777 sets were produced. The edition contains various pieces of merchandising, a copy of the script, the original Final Fantasy VII game, and a strategy guidebook for the game. Another disc was included in Advent Pieces containing the original video animation Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.[26] Nomura stated that the reason for the name Advent Pieces was because "advent" means "the recognition and commemoration of something," while "pieces" was added in order to bring special meaning to the release.[7]:101

A special one-time-only theatrical screening of the English version of the film took place on April 3, 2006, at the Arclight Theatre in Los Angeles. The event was promoted via email to those who subscribed to the Square Enix mailing list.[36] The screening included trailers of Kingdom Hearts II and Dirge of Cerberus, and featured appearances from the English language cast and the Japanese developers.

The European, Australian, and North American DVD release of the film is a 2-disc set that contains several bonus features, including Last Order. Sony later announced Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set) for release in North America on February 20, 2007.[37] The set included more bonus material than the previous DVD releases, including a copy of the script, several postcards with imagery from the film, and the first three stories from the On the Way to a Smile series.[38]

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete[edit]

In addition to new scenes, the director's cut added new details. In this example, director's cut (above) adds a wound across Cloud's left cheek and blood smears on his right arm.

At the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix showed a trailer of a director's cut of the film, entitled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete, for release on the Blu-ray format. Initially, the cut was expected for release in mid-2007, but Square announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show that they would postpone the product until 2008.[39] At the 2008 Square Enix DKΣ3713 Party, it was announced that Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete would be released in March 2009 in Japan, although it didn't actually go on sale until April 16. A separate bundle was sold that included a demo of Final Fantasy XIII. Both editions included the first HD trailers of Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. On April 11 and 12, 2009, days before its release, Square Enix held four special screenings of Advent Children Complete at the Ginza Sony Building in Tokyo. There were 800 seats, but to be eligible, fans had to have reserved the Blu-ray or the PlayStation 3 bundle at the Square Enix e-store and be members of Square Enix's online website.[40]

Advent Children Complete is 25 minutes longer than the original cut of the film and also contains roughly one thousand revised scenes.[41] Themes expanded in Advent Children Complete include Cloud's development, Denzel's background, and a more in-depth view of the Turks and Rufus Shinra. As various titles from Compilation of Final Fantasy VII were released after the original film's release, the staff wanted to add links to other titles in the series. There is more violence in this version, specifically more blood during the fights, as the staff wanted to bring a "dirtier" look to the film, with characters' faces and clothes getting darker and dirtier throughout the battles.[42] Additionally, the fight between Cloud and Sephiroth was expanded by several minutes, and includes a scene in which Sephiroth impales Cloud on his sword and holds him in the air, mirroring the scene in the game where he performs the same action.[43]

Advent Children Complete was released in North America on June 2, 2009,[44] in Europe on July 27, 2009, and in Australia on October 7, 2009. The North American and European versions do not come with the playable demo of Final Fantasy XIII. Instead, they come with a new trailer for the game.[45] All Blu-ray disc also feature an animated piece entitled "On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Denzel", as well as the story digests "Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII" and "Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII Compilation". The actors had to return for additional dialogue recording. Nomura stated there were no major problems with this process, noting that Sakurai and Morikawa were already used to their characters from voicing them in other media. However, some of the child characters, most notably Denzel and Marlene, had to be recast, as the original performers' voices now sounded too old.[43] For the English, the performers also returned to record the English release of Advent Children Complete, with the exception of the voice actors for some of the children (most notably Denzel and Marlene), who needed to be recast because (like the original Japanese version) the original performers' voices now sounded too old.[46]

Although Nomura stated that Advent Children Complete did not represent the end of Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, as the staff still had more ideas, he said it marked "the end of the Advent Children saga" as there would be no more re-releases or extended versions.[47]


Last Order: Final Fantasy VII[edit]

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII is an OVA directed by Morio Asaka, written by Kazuhiko Inukai, and animated by Madhouse.[7]:94–95[48] It was originally released in Japan on the Advent Pieces: Limited DVD, on September 14, 2005.[49][50] It was released in North America on the Limited Edition Collector's Set on February 20, 2007.[51] Thus far, it has not been released on any DVD editions of the film outside Japan or North America. There is currently no English dub for the film, and the North America version is subtitled.[52]

On the Way to a Smile[edit]

On the Way to a Smile is a series of short stories that take place between the time of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. Written by Kazushige Nojima, the first story ("Case of Denzel") was released in episodic form on the official Japanese Advent Children website. "Case of Denzel" is told indirectly from the perspective of Denzel, who has requested an interview with Reeve Tuesti in the hopes that he may become part of Reeve's newly formed World Regenesis Organization, an army devoted to rebuilding the planet. Denzel tells his life story, including how he became an orphan, the events leading up to his becoming afflicted with Geostigma, and how he came under the care of Tifa and Cloud. "Case of Denzel" was adapted into On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Denzel, a short OVA that was released with Advent Children Complete.[34][53]

The second short story is Tifa's account of the events following Meteor's destruction, overlapping in part with Denzel's story and her life with Cloud. A third On the Way to a Smile story, "Case of Barrett" was released with the North American Limited Edition Collector's Set of Advent Children. It involves Barret and his struggles to try to find a new energy source for the people of the world.

To coincide with the release of Advent Children Complete in 2009, four more stories were written, "Case of Yuffie", "Case of Red XIII", "Case of Shinra" and "Case of Lifestream - Black & White". All the stories were released together as a separate product from Advent Children Complete at the same time as the film was released.[54]



The DVDs releases of Advent Children sold over 410,000 copies in Japan during the first week.[55] Combined with the UMD release, over 700,000 units were sold in the first three weeks.[56] The DVD ranked a "surprise" #2 during its first week in Nielsen VideoScan.[57] Nielsen's survey "Top Selling Anime Releases of 2006" had Advent Children ranked at the top.[58] In an Oricon poll from 2005, the regular edition of the DVD ranked twelfth on the best seller list in Japan, with a total of 209,759 copies sold. The limited edition ranked fifteenth with 202,793 copies sold.[59] In a 2006 survey by the Japan External Trade Organization, the DVD ranked as the best-selling Japanese anime DVD in the United States. In the 2007 poll, the DVD stayed at tenth spot.[60] The English language DVD sold 963,023 units, which translated to $14,860,534 in revenue, by the fifth week of release.[61] In 2006, Square Enix and Sony announced that the English language DVD and UMD releases combined had sold over 2.4 million units worldwide, with 1 million units sold in Japan, 1.3 million in North America, and 100,000 in Europe.[62] Without giving specific numbers about the UMD sales, Square Enix stated that it had enjoyed good sales, performing better in North America than in Japan.[63] By May 2009, sales had increased to over 4.1 million copies.[64] The English version of the film achieved various best-seller ranks on[51] In ICv2's Top Ten Anime Properties from 2006, Advent Children was featured at the top,[65] and was one of the top three properties during 2007.[66]

On its first day of release, over 100,000 Blu-ray copies of Advent Children Complete were sold in Japan.[67] During its initial week, the Blu-ray was #2 on the bestseller list,[68] with 274,774 units sold.[69] During 2009, the regular version of Advent Children Complete sold 49,000 units in Japan, ranking second in the category "Animation/Special Effects Blu-ray Discs" from Oricon's survey "2009's Top-Selling Blu-ray Discs in Japan (Overall)."[70] It ranked eighth in the category "Overall Blu-ray Discs, by Yen" with 310 million yen (US$3.4 million) sold in 2009.[71] Gaming sites Gamasutra and Kotaku cited Advent Children Complete as one of the main reasons why sales of the video game console PlayStation 3 radically increased during the film's first week of release.[69][72]

Critical response[edit]

Advent Children has received mixed to positive reviews.'s James Mielke, who scored it an "A-", said the quality and clarity of the CG visuals was "genuinely amazing." Mielke called it "the real Final Fantasy movie," finding it more appealing than the first CGI film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. However, he criticized the film's music, calling it "a bit sappy."[73] While Anime News Network writer Carlo Santos praised the animation, calling it "outstanding", he criticized the film's plot, arguing that people who had not played Final Fantasy VII would not understand the story. Santos also found the story digest "Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII" to be "just as confusing as the movie and is more of a refresher for those who have played Final Fantasy VII."[74] Mania Entertainment's John Eriani agreed, commenting that anybody who had not played Final Fantasy VII should search for information about the game to understand the film's storyline.[75] Fellow writer Dani Moure agreed with Eriani, although he added that he liked how the characters were further explored in the film.[76] Chris Carle from IGN shared similar opinions, giving the section "The Movie" a seven, the lowest number he gave. He praised the sound and the English voice acting, but criticized the lack of commentary in the DVDs extras.[77] He gave the film an overall "Outstanding" score of nine out of ten.[78] Todd Douglass Jr. from DVD Talk commented that Advent Children "is pretty much the film that fans all over the world have been waiting for." Besides praising the animation and the appearances from various Final Fantasy VII characters, Douglass felt Cloud's character development was a highlight.[79] RPGamer's Michael Beckett gave the film a 4 out of 5, praising the plot's tone, the characters' redesigns, and the setting. He also lauded the film's fighting scenes, stating that "the film feels very much like a love letter to the fans of Final Fantasy VII."[80] Conversely, Leslie Felperin of Variety had a negative opinion of the narrative, called some battle sequences "irritating", and noted that the last battles have more ferocious antagonists.[18]'s Roger Altizer also gave a more negative review, giving it 2 and a half stars out of 5, citing its plot and dialogue as "weak" and citing the visuals as one of its few pros.[81]

The director's cut, Advent Children Complete, received an overall 4.5 out of 5 by's Dustin Somner, who argued that the "plot is emotionally dense, the action is explosively over-the-top, and the world in which the story enfolds is rich with creativity." Somner highly recommended the Blu-ray to people who had already seen the film and fans of Final Fantasy VII, while non-fans would do best to rent it first; "I'd remind you to consider the near-perfect audio/video quality and perhaps take a leap of faith in adding the disc to your collection."[82] In contrast to the original release, Joystiq's Andrew Yoon found Advent Children Complete a better film, feeling it was more accessible to people who had not played Final Fantasy VII. Yoon also felt that the new scenes helped give more depth to Cloud's development, to the point of "humanizing [him]." Nevertheless, he found that Complete contained some flaws not present in the original version, such as the pacing of scenes that made the plot difficult to follow.[83] DVD Talk's Todd Douglass Jr. stated that Complete was "the best version of the film" due to its audio quality, the new scenes, and the expansion of Cloud's battle against Sephiroth. He still called the bonus features disappointing however, claiming the label "Complete" was misleading. However, he found the new OVA (On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Denzel) and the trailer of Final Fantasy XIII to be "welcome additions."[84] Kotaku writer AJ Glasser spoofed the director's cut version in an article called "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete in 15 Minutes", claiming that the director's cut failed to explain aspects of the film that were not explained in the original version.[85]


Advent Children received the Honorary Maria Award at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya on October 15, 2005.[86] The film was also awarded "best anime feature" at the 2007 American Anime Awards.[87] IGN placed it second in the "Top 10 Straight-to-DVD Animated Movies."[88] In 2007, the music video for the song "유혹의 소나타" ("Sonata of Temptation") by Korean singer Ivy recreated the fight between Tifa and Loz. The director of the video stated that it was just a parody of the film but could not get in contact with Square Enix to get official permission.[89] The video was subsequently banned from airing on Korean television after a copyright lawsuit by Square Enix cited plagiarism.[90] OverClocked ReMix's four disc Final Fantasy VII unofficial tribute album, Voices of the Lifestream, has a disc entitled Advent, a name chosen to coincide with the release of the film, with the music themed after the movie.[91] Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama stated that the film showed "battles that have not been achievable in FF so far," and as such, he created battles for Final Fantasy XIII that were similar to the ones in the film.[92]


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